York Man Sentenced To 10 Years’ Imprisonment For Trafficking Cocaine

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drug punishment, handcuffs and white cocaine powder

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Carlos Joel Nieves Ortega, age 37, of York, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on February 3, 2022, to 10 years’ imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine. 

According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, in March and September 2019, Ortega received and attempted to receive, parcels containing kilogram quantities of cocaine sent from Puerto Rico through the U.S. Mail to York. Ortega also sent money back to Puerto Rico paying for the cocaine. 

Ortega’s co-defendants Luis Manuel Quesada Rodriguez, Alex Rivera Ramos, Jose Colon Declet, and Pedro Diaz have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sam Dalke is prosecuting the case.


This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

This case was also part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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